Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Indianapolis Colts
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The AFC South quickly went from one of the worst divisions in the NFL to one of the most intriguing. All of a sudden, the Houston Texans are a legitimate contender, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts are both borderline playoff teams with young quarterbacks and the Tennessee Titans have undergone a huge facelift this offseason, which has fans very optimistic for the future. 

The Texans are the favorites to repeat as AFC South champions in 2024 thanks to the historic rookie campaign quarterback C.J. Stroud had, but they are not a shoo-in. It's very possible the other three teams are being slept on. 

During a recent appearance on the "Green Light with Chris Longpodcast, Colts linebacker Zaire Franklin revealed Stroud is "feeling himself" after his dominant first season, and that he's looking forward to taking the fight to him next year. 

"No, because I already smacked them a couple times," Franklin said when asked if he had "beef" with the Titans, via NFL.com. "It really be Houston. I'm not going to lie to you, I like C.J., man, I support all our young brothers at quarterback, but C.J., he done said a lot of wild stuff to me in our run-ins. … He is feeling himself. … I need to see that boy again."

The Colts and Texans split the season series in 2023, but Houston was victorious in the most important game -- a win-and-in playoff situation in the regular-season finale. In that 23-19 victory, Stroud completed 20 of 26 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns, and then went on to become the youngest quarterback in NFL history to win a playoff game.

The Colts did defeat the Texans in Week 2, 31-20, but Stroud apparently forgot that final score. All he remembered was throwing for 384 yards and two touchdowns.

"Well, we were talking, and you know how the Super Bowl is at Radio Row, he had the XM Radio right before me and he was on there talking about how he cooked the Colts in both games," Franklin said. "I saw him and I pulled him aside and was like you know when you played Anthony (Richardson) it was like 28-7 in the second quarter, we were kind of blowing you out. …Yeah you threw for 300 yards but …"

In that matchup, Colts rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson ran in two touchdowns in the first quarter, but left in the second due to a concussion. 

"I was like if that's what you consider a cooking with the loss, I mean congratulations," Franklin said. "Then I have to remind him as well that he's never beaten Anthony."

This new-look Colts-Texans rivalry has already been entertaining, and with these two young quarterbacks in Richardson and Stroud, it should be for years to come. Stroud got the last laugh in 2023, but Franklin wants to make sure 2024 is different.